Rhode Island Monthly Breast Health 2014 : Page 12

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? SPECIAL ADVER TISING SECTION Need to Know » continued from page 108 9. Are there alternative therapies to chemotherapy and radiation? There is no scientifi c proof that homeopathic remedies, such as ingesting herbs, can cure or prevent cancer, although alternative treatments can help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments. Studies have shown that massage, Reiki, acupuncture and certain herbal remedies can help ease the nausea, stress and discomfort associated with chemotherapy. Before you begin any alternative therapies, discuss this topic with your team. 10. Should I get copies of my pathology and lab reports? The answer is a resounding yes. It is not enough to ask for the reports and put them in a fi le: You need to ask your doctor to explain the report. A good tip is to write notes on the back of the report, so if you refer to it in the future, you will have a clear refer-ence to the results and what they mean. Furthermore, your doc-tors expect you to ask for these reports, and it is important to have them for future medical appointments. They can also help fi rst degree relatives assess their risks for developing cancer. blood platelets, leading to excessive bleeding, and can have adverse effects on anesthesia. Recreational drug use can also have detri-mental affects on treatment. Your doctor can offer information and options on how to cut down or even stop these bad habits. And, if you think a piece of lettuce and a tomato slice on top of a greasy cheeseburger is a salad, you should ask your doctor to connect you with a nutritionist. Healthy eating will make you feel better dur-ing cancer treatments. Exercise will also make you feel better physically and emotionally. Just going for a walk can secrete en-dorphins, dopamine and serotonin — hormones that can make you feel better emotionally and sleep more restfully. 12. What kind of follow-up can I expect after cancer treatments? Follow-up appointments and their frequency are determined by your team of doctors and will depend on the type and stage of your cancer. These appointments are intended to check your progress for side effects from cancer treatments and recurrences of cancer. It is imperative to keep all follow-up appointments to ensure the best possible prognosis and to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes monthly self-exams. It is also important to choose a family member or friend who is composed, reasonable and able to accompany you to the doctors’ appointments to scribe the answers to your questions. Write all your questions down in a journal and record others as you think of them. It is also a good idea to write down how you are feeling and describe any side effects. Your journal will be a great reference for you when you visit your doctors. A cancer diagnosis is the beginning of a turbulent fl ight, but understanding your cancer and your treat-ments will help you be proactive to champion the cancer beast.  11. What can I do to optimize my outcome? The most important thing you can do is be completely honest with your doctors, especially about any bad habits, because these can undermine the outcome of treatments. Be honest about smoking and how much you smoke. You should also be honest about al-cohol consumption. If you drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day, you are considered a heavy drinker by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Extreme drinking can affect Who will make the list of 2015 Five Star Wealth Managers? See the special section in the January issue Share your opinion – go to fivestarprofessional.com/wmconsumerfeedback RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY l OCTOBER 2014 117

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